Up ‘Til Dawn hosts final event on campus Saturday through Sunday

Up 'Til Dawn hosts final event on campus Saturday through Sunday

by Allison LaneStaff Writer

Up ‘Til Dawn will host its finale March 24 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Brenton Student Center.

Entertainment for the night will include games and activities such as laser tag, a casino room, a movie showing, Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero, Nintendo games and board games. PRSSA will also be sponsoring a battle of the bands, and there will be a performance from the men of Mu Phi.

Earlier this semester, Simpson students participated in a letter-writing campaign for Up ‘Til Dawn, a fundraising effort to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Founded on the idea of the late entertainer Danny Thomas who believed “no child should die in the dawn of life,” the hospital requires close to $1 million per day to fully operate and relies solely on donations.

The hospital treats all children, regardless of their ability to pay for the medical services, and has numerous programs in place to raise funds, such as Up ‘Til Dawn.

An executive board of 14 members spearheaded the fundraising effort at Simpson.

Sophomore Maria Vosberg, one of the students involved, said the idea came about during the Greek Sisterhood Week before school last fall when the sororities had a representative from St. Jude come and discuss philanthropic work.

“Lots of people showed interest,” Vosberg said. “They kept asking us to contact her, and that’s kind of how it got started.”

The letter writing took place on the evening of Jan. 30 in McNeil Hall. Senior Sarah Heim said the turnout was great, and so far, more than 10,400 letters have been sent out. The number is continuing to increase as some students who were not able to attend the party are sending out letters in their own time.

“We had one of the best turnouts at the letter writing party for a first year school,” Heim said.

Through a math worksheet provided by Up ‘Til Dawn, the executive board predicted the amount raised could be as much as $72,000, but since the amount of letters sent was not quite as much as figured, the total raised will likely be less.

Heim notes, however, that many first-year schools have been reported to bring in $6,000 to $7,000, something that Simpson will likely surpass.

“We did not have the 12,000 letters sent out, but if we could hit $50,000, we would be ecstatic,” Heim said.

Throughout Saturday night, there will also be prize drawing, all of which were donated by area businesses. Donors include the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Indianola Paramount Theater, The Cheesecake Factory and Quizno’s, among others.

The students involved hope to make the campaign an annual event on Simpson’s campus. Senior Liz Van Hook, another member of the executive board, says that plans for next year will start even before the year is over.

“At the finale, we will start talking about offices and taking applications for next year’s board,” Van Hook said.